CHRIS RILEY went to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats for a month but will end up staying for a couple of seasons.
Riley has signed a one-year Wildcats contract following his release by Warrington Wolves earlier this week.
He had been on loan at Wakefield since March after featuring just once for Warrington this year, in their opening game of the season.
The winger/full-back, who had a year left on his Warrington contract, said he is pleased to have his future resolved and described his stint at Wildcats as “a breath of fresh air”.
He said: “When I first came to Wakefield I saw it as a short-term deal, like when I was (on loan) at London.
“I was hoping to get back at Warrington, but as the weeks went on I started to settle here and started to play somewhere near my best rugby and started to enjoy myself.
“I was speaking to Tony (Smith, Warrington’s team boss) on and off and realised I wasn’t really getting a sniff at Warrington. I thought I might have been going back, but it never really came about.
“I had to think about next year and as much as I really wanted to go back, part of me was ready for a new challenge. I spoke to Tony and the option was there to move on next year.”
Riley stressed: “I could have gone back, I didn’t have to leave, but part of me was ready to move on to a new challenge.
“Wakefield were really interested and I have enjoyed my time under (coach) James Webster, as well as Richard Agar.
“I would like to thank him for bringing me over in the first place, but since Webster has come I have really enjoyed myself and we’ve had a great second half to the season.
“Results have been pretty satisfying and the signings we’ve been making have really got me excited.
“When I did get down to talking with Webster about a possible move here it was an easy decision to make.”
Wildcats are rebuilding under Webster and Riley reckons their prospects for next season are bright.
“Richard just wanted me to come over and enjoy myself and bring the experience I’d had at Warrington,” he recalled.
“It was tough and some of the results and performances we had weren’t great, but it is a great set of lads and they want to work really hard for each other.
“That’s what I’ve enjoyed about my time here.
“At Warrington I have always been known as a grafter and that’s the type of lads they are here.
“It was only a matter of time before we turned the tide and started getting some of the results we deserved.
“Since Webster’s taken over he has implemented a few things and he gets a lot out of us. It is a real good atmosphere to be around in training.
“There’s some great individuals, it is bringing the best out of me and I am excited about next year.”
Webster said Riley will be a key member of his squad in 2015.
“I am really happy he has signed,” the coach said.
“He has been outstanding for us this year.
“He has played every week, he trains hard every week and he has a lot of experience at a top club.
“He is a durable kid, he doesn’t get hurt much and he does plenty of work for us.
“It’s good for us to get a player of his calibre. He has enjoyed it here and he’s a good kid as well.”